Optimization of Oil Biodegradation by Mixed Bacterial and Fungal Population An Innovative Microbial Delivery System and Oil-Absorbing Natural MaterialEPA Grant Number: R823347
Title: Optimization of Oil Biodegradation by Mixed Bacterial and Fungal Population An Innovative Microbial Delivery System and Oil-Absorbing Natural Material
Investigators: Cuero, Raul G.
Institution: Prairie View A & M University
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: September 1, 1995 through August 1, 1997
Project Amount: $131,617
RFA: Exploratory Research - Minority Institutions (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water , Land and Waste Management , Ecosystems , Air , Aquatic Ecosystems
Description:The objective of this project is to develop and optimize a method for biodegradation of oil-contaminated soils under laboratory and pilot scale composting conditions, and in liquids by using mixed microbial population from different taxa, a microbial delivery system, and a natural oil-absorbent.
The experimental approach is to use several microbial strains from different taxa with oil-biodegrading characteristics along with an innovative microbial delivery system (chitosan) to assure continued microbial cometabolic action in a composting system. A natural, safe, oil absorbent (kenaf core, and/or oat micro-particles) will also be used to enhance oil-biodegradation in both compost and liquid conditions. Diatomaceous earth (DE) or bentonite will be applied to improve porosity and stability during composting. The method will be developed: 1) in a set of PVC columns for initial testing on oil-contaminated soil; and 2) in a chemostat for testing of the method on oil-contaminated liquids and for testing microbial survival. Rate of soil degradation, total oil degradation, total oil degradation, oil biodegradation intermediates. CO2 production, determination of presence of alkene and alkine, total microbial viable count (TVC), and most probable number (MPN). Gravimetric total petroleum hydrocarbon analysis (APHA et al., 1992) will be carried out. Glass chemostats will be used to monitor the microbial growth when subjected to crude oil, and to determine presence of biodegradation-mediated enzymes (e.g., oxygenase, dehalogenase, etc., [Dagley, 1971]).
The results of these experiments will provide the information required to systematically identify reliable parameters for developing a kit to assess a given oil-contaminated area in a particular time, and also for modeling of the process.